Oil barrels

Brent crude reached close to $110 a barrel today as hopes rose of US lawmakers striking a deal on the fiscal cliff improved and tensions in the Middle East increased.

Brent crude climbed by 29 cents at $109.80 a barrel, while US crude rose by 26 cents to $86.75 a barrel, after recording losses in the previous session, reports Reuters.

The ongoing discussions regarding a deal on the key US budget were seen to be taking a positive turn, with President Barack Obama indicating that he was optimistic of closing the discussions before Christmas.

Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi’s call for unity, despite attempting to amend the constitution for power, has aggravated the protests in the country.

Developments, such as the killing of a Saudi diplomat along with his Yemeni bodyguard in Yemen’s capital Sanaa on Wednesday, and Iran’s statement that it will continue to push for uranium enrichment before talks with other powerful countries, helped oil prices rally.

Following a poll conducted by Reuters, where analysts had predicted a build of about 300,000 barrels, US crude oil inventories slipped 347,000 barrels in the week to 23 November to 374.12 million barrels.

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By GlobalData

US gasoline stockpiles rose by 3.87 million barrels to 204.26 million barrels, against an estimated 900,0000 barrel build.

Image: Brent and US crude surged today over positive US budget news and tensions in Egypt. Photo courtesy of Lars Christopher Nøttaasen.